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North American Network Operators Group

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Re: Vulnerbilities of Interconnection

  • From: Mikael Abrahamsson
  • Date: Thu Sep 05 16:12:10 2002

On Thu, 5 Sep 2002 wrote:

> There is a good foundation of knowledge on the implications of cyber 
> attacks, but the what-if of an intentional physical attack is an 
> important question I believe.  The context in this discussion has been 
> very valuable and many thanks to everyone that has offered opinions.

In our open western society a determined group of people can cause a lot
of problems if they just want to. Most fiber and electrical connections
are very easy to hit because either they are very visable (power lines) or
they go along few stretches of way (usually along train rails or roads).
Getting information where the infrastructure is located is not very hard,
especially if you're in the industry already.

I don't know about the US, but cutting Sweden in half power- and 
fiber-wise would involve 1-2 weeks of work for 2-3 people with explosives. 
This would cause huge problems, especially with telecommunications. 

I would guess that the situation is the same in the US, there aren't that
many different east/west fiberstretches that you need to cut to generate a
lot of problems for everybody. Imagine all the problems caused by backhoes 
and extrapolate this into something done by someone actually wanting to 
cause as much trouble as possible.

It's not easy to do anything about this, our society is based on 
cooperation, law and order. If this starts to break down we're all very 

Mikael Abrahamsson    email:

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